How much water should you drink each day? Here's a handy guide
Hydration is vitally important to a healthy body and lifestyle. Here some advice on what you need to do.
We are lucky enough in Ireland to take drinking water for granted. True, the upcoming water charges are going to make us all a lot more aware of how much we take from the tap but taking on a large amount of fluids each day is really important to staying healthy.
The folks at the Mayo Clinic in the US have published some guidelines that we thought were well worth sharing with you.
While everybody's physiology is different they recommend that men should drink three litres of 'total beverages' and women should have 2.2 litres. 'Total beverages' did catch our eye too, with us wondering if our solid diet of energy drinks, pints and coffee would fill the quota.
However, the good people at the Mayo Clinic advise that these, and other water-based fluids like milk or fruit juice, should only be a small portion of your daily three litre total, and that you really should get the bulk of your fluids from pure, unadulterated water. The old rule of eight glasses of water a day, around two litres, still stands up, especially if you are eating lots of fruit and getting fluids that way.
These are just the basics, and if you have a more active lifestyle, you'll need to do a bit more.
Even a short burst of exercise, enough to make you sweat, will see you needing to add another 500ml to your water intake.
If you are engaged in a longer run, or a more serious training session, say GAA or soccer, then you will need to up the amount you drink accordingly.
The Mayo Clinic also advise that if you live at altitude, live in high temperatures or have an illness that will dehydrate you like diarrhoea or vomiting, the you will need to take on more water too.
The best way to check if you are getting the right amount of water is if you are rarely thirsty and if your urine is clear or light yellow. If it is dark or you are thirsty during the day then you need to drink more and if the problem persists you need to consult with your doctor.
Finally they warn that it is possible to drink too much water, a condition called hyponatremia that overloads the kidneys, but it is extremely rare.